I don't know if it's because I see couples all over social media, the never-ending production of rom-coms and romantic movies, or my love for songs about heartbreak, but lately I've been wanting a relationship more and more.
But, do I really want a relationship? And if so, why?
I don't mean that relationships are some bad thing that you should stay clear of, though sometimes I may act like it. I am questioning my motives more than anything.
If you're reading this and can relate on some level to the conflicting pulls of loving the single life, while also kind of dreaming about "couple goals," read-on, please. Not necessarily because I will offer perfect advice or anything, but I will provide my perspective on the situation.
For some people, even the idea of relationships is "complicated."
I've written about, and lived by the idea, that I enjoy being single. I love the independence and freedom it gives me. And at this point in my life, it's what's comfortable for me.
But, am I being fair to myself?
To quote a love-filled and music-filled movie, "Love is a many splendored thing. Love lifts us up where we belong. All you need is love!" Ah, Moulin Rouge. Hilarious and heartbreaking at the same time.
But is that true? Is love all you need? Do you even need it at all? I honestly don't know sometimes.
Of course, I believe that love "is a many splendored thing" in most contexts. For instance, I can't imagine my life without the love of my family and friends, but what about love in the context of relationships?
I used to believe that boyfriends, and later marriage, was an inevitable thing. That I wouldn't really have to worry about it because it'll just happen. I've since grown out of that mentality.
I don't believe you need a relationship to be happy. But I also don't believe that a relationship will stop you from being happy. The real question comes down to: is it the right thing for you, right now?
This can be hard to figure out. At least for me, it is.
Though I don't think I am a cynic at heart, I do outwardly portray that idea often. Because of this, I tend to do what could be considered as over-analyzing scenarios.
It can be hard to let go of this mentality, but there really needs to be a balance to it.
I can't tell if I'm holding myself back by not trying to find someone, or if I'm logically protecting myself during this transition time in my life. I have less than a year left at college and will be moving away from this town. On top of that, my future plans are to work, travel, write, and/or anything else that comes up.
Right now, everything seems very open-ended. I feel like I have a good reason to shy away from dating. I don't want to potentially start something that will just end up ugly or broken.
Maybe that doesn't seem like a good reason to you, and that's okay. But regardless, it's valid to feel like this. Inviting someone into your life, someone who you hope will become a major part of it, is actually a big step.
Sure, there are other forms of relationships and dating, but at this point in my life, I'm not sure they're for me. After all, no matter what form they take, relationships carry some kind of strings and emotions.
With all of this running through my mind, I continually ask myself: What do I want? Am I just in love with the idea of being in love?
This isn't a question that allows a quick yes or no answer. It's a question that asks yourself to take more time to understand where you are in life, where you want to be, and how you really feel.
Important reminder: This isn't something that can be decided for you.
Even if you appreciate the input of friends or family, ultimately, the decision lies to you. In the end, it is your future and your happiness that is affected. So, take it at your own pace.
And for those would think their unsolicited comments are helpful, please think carefully about whether it is appropriate for you to insert your opinion. Maybe even wait until it is asked for.
You may love the person involved dearly, but there is a chance that you're preventing them from being happy. Pressure can happen both directly and indirectly, so just remember to evaluate what you're saying.
If you're unsure about the status of your love life, just take into consideration all the factors in play. It is okay to feel ready. It is okay to feel unsure. And it is okay to want to wait.
There is no promise that the pressures of and for relationships will stop, but you can choose to lessen their effect. Those who are in relationships deserve to be happy, and so do you, whether you're in one or not.
I have yet to come to a final conclusion on this, and I don't expect to quickly. I expect that it will require coming back to, and growth, and time, as I continue on in my life. I expect combinations of high and low points, but even so, I expect to live a happy life.